Family: Fabaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Chhola, Boot, Chana.

English Name: Gram, Bengal Gram, Chick Pea.

Description of the Plant

A viscid much-branched annual herb. Leaves imperipinnate, 2.5-5 cm long. Flower solitary in the leaf axills. Corolla pink, blue or white, scarcely half as long again as the calyx. Pod 2-2.5 cm long, turgid, pubscent.

Using Information

Plant is refrigerant, employed in fevers and dysmenorrhoea; useful in skin diseases, gonorrhoea and urinary diseases. The leaves are astringent to the bowels, improve taste and appetite. Boiled leaves are a nice application to sprains and dislocated limbs; when roasted it is considered to be aphrodisiac and diuretic; relieves flatulence.

Seeds are astringent, refrigerant, appetizer, tonic and antibilious; given in dysentery, relives flatulence. Liquid obtained from macerated seeds is a tonic, allays vomiting. Seeds in a parched condition given at night followed by warm milk give great relief in bronchial catarrh. The unripe seed is stimulant, tonic and aphrodisiac; cures thirst and burning.

Seed and its lipid extract is hypocholesterolemic in human. EtOH (50%) extract of seed is spasmolytic. Petroleum ether extract of husk showed 20% antiimplantation in albino rats. Seed extract cause agglutination with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Seeds reduced postprandial plasma glucose in human (Asolkar et al., 1992).


Chemical Constituents

Chief constituent of the mature seeds is carbohydrate. They also contain flavones and isoflavones, oxalic, acetic and malic acids and a number of amino acids. Germinating seeds are rich in enzymes, a-galactosidases and vitamins A, D, E, lecithin, phytin, saponin and crystalline glycosides, biochanin A, B, C. Seed lipid contains steroidal substances. Seeds also contain hypolipidemic isoflavones, biochanin-A and formononetin.

Aerial parts of the plant contain kaempferol, quercetin, iso-rhamnetin, pratensein, phytoalexin and cicerin. They also contain a number of organic acids. Vanillic and p-hydroxybenzoic acids have been isolated from leaves. Seedlings contain isoliquiritigenin-4'-glucoside, 3,4',7-trihydroxyflavone, daidzein, pratensein, p-coumaric acid, garbenzol and biochanin-7-glucoside. Roots contain medicagol and 12-oxymethyl-coumesterol (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).


Cultivated in many places of the country.

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